Attention is the brain’s currency. We all have a limited amount of it (scarce resource) and we are all free to use it anyway we like. Most people don’t think about how they “use” their attention and end up spending it, instead of investing it.
Invest, Don’t Spend Your Attention.
Most people spend most of their time reliving the drama of their past or worrying about their future. Doing either of these events, takes you away from the present moment or forces you to spend your attention on something that has a very low ROI. For a better ROI, I’ve learned that if I invest my attention on the now (focus on finding new opportunities and properly managing my existing positions) I will do much better in the long run. Focusing on the now, helps me invest my attention, not spend it.
The Only Time You Can Find New Opportunities Is…
I learned that the only time I can find new opportunities (in life or in the market) is in the now. In fact, the only time I can make any decision, large or small, is in the now. Even if I decide to do something next week, or at any other point in the future, when that time comes, I will do it in the now. What happens most of the time is that I found myself unconsciously thinking of the past or worrying about the future and that prevented me from having a “clear head” when looking for new opportunities. I read somewhere that worrying about the future is like praying for what you don’t want.
Learn From The Past, Prepare For The Future & Focus On The Now:
It is important to learn from the past and prepare for the future but I do my best to make sure that it doesn’t consume me and take up all of my attention- all the time. I used to spend the most of my day thinking about how I got stopped out of XYZ or missed that monster stock (or any other drama of my past), but found out that doing this would prevent me from finding new opportunities that exist right now.
Now, before I start my “research” or make a decision, I do my best to focus my attention on the present moment. I do this by taking a mental inventory and make sure my head is clear before I engage in that activity- large or small. This helps me shift my thinking to the now and opens me up to finding/receiving new/big opportunities. It also helps me to invest my attention and not spend it – which yields a much higher ROI.